There is much more that’s old about New York than new.
It’s just that we don’t always see it.
Walk through Broadway as I did en route to my Kimpton Hotel in Little Brazil, or 130 W 46th Street and you can’t fail to notice the giant billboard for Hamilton.
It is, of course the hip-hop musical that has taken the world by storm and it is playing at the Richard Rodgers Theater.
It’s the hottest ticket in town and you’d almost need to be the President or Vice-President to get one.
Veep Mike Pence did, and such is the status that the actors in Hamiton have that they felt empowered enough to lecture him on his politics.
His big pal, the Greatest Living New Yorker, wasn’t impressed and dissed their stand on Twitter demanding – hilariously – that they apologise.
Shame there’s no evidence he’s ever seen the production because The Alexander and The Donald have much in common.
Both are big business, both half-Scottish and both ladies’ men, both egotists and both bestrode their age.
And yet just before the musical reconnected Americans with Hamilton, appartchiks were planning to have him replaced on the $10 bill.
It would have been a particular kind of humiliation for the man who saved the nascent Union from bankruptcy and set up the financial system.
The one that has served The Donald and countless others so well.
And yet other than on Broadway and on the $10 bill where in New York will you find ‘The Greatest Ever New Yorker’?
The best place to start is Central Park.
Another Central Park celeb
You’ll see a steady flow of tourists stopping by to pay tribute to John Lennon who only actually lived here for a few years.
He was always going to go back to England anyway and wouldn’t have been any good in a war.
He’d be lying back in bed talking about, well ‘giving peace a chance.’
Where would the New Yorkers and the Americans have been with someone like him?
Hamilton, by contrast, fought bravely in the defence of New York.
And represented them proudly in government, both here when New York was the nation’s capital from 1875-1878.
And in Philadelphia and Washington DC.
Where is Hamiton, though?
He’d appreciate a visit.
His statue is in Central Park, on East Drive, opposite 83rd Street, on the way to Harlem.
And seeing as you’re in the neighbourhood and it’s a Saturday then why not sign up for Jimmy Napoli’s Outside In Hamilton tour http://www.hamiltonsnewyork.com in Washington Heights and Hamilton Heights.
And find out more about this larger-than-life character.
Visit the actual Morris-Juliet Mansion that Washington chose as his HQ at the Battle of Harlem Heights.
And where Hamilton was by his side.
It was later the home of one-time Vice-President and our hero’s nemesis Aaron Burr.
And it was from here that Washington and Hamilton looked down the peninsula to Manhattan burning in the distance.
Some bigger buildings would block their view today.
Jimmy’s hour-long, one mile walking tour will take you to other important landmarks in The Great Man’s life, including the restored Hamilton Grange National Memorial.
If there’s anything he’s missed out – and there won’t be – you can always catch up at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on 226 W 46th Street.
My VIP pal
Again you’d probably need to be pals with the President or Veep to get a ticket.
Good job I am.
The Commander-in-Chief has a pitch on Times Square, near the Naked Cowboy, but more appropriately near Hamilton.
And it’s a beautiful pitch… a beautiful pitch.
How to get there: New York is served by airlines from airline.
And you can get pre-clearance from Ireland. And by bus and trains if you are in the US. I took a Peter Pan bus from DC. It takes nearly five hours.
Where to stay: Kimpton Muse has an executive room, one king bed, two adults from the equivalent of €307.66 for the sample dates of Friday, August 4, to Saturday, August 5. See http://www.kimptonhotels.com. Also visit http://www.nycvb.com.
I’ll revisit New York, mine and my Irish family’s entry like so many others, to America in this blog.
This article was first published in the Irish Daily Mail in 2017.
It is part of a series America’s Capitals that also includes Washington DC http://Easy DC and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/philadelphia-freedom/